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Chapters 10,11,12. 276-358

Weathering

The process by which rock materials are broken down by the action of physical and chemical processes.

Mechanical Weathering

The breakdown of rock into smaller pieces by physical means.

Chemical Weathering

The process by which rock breaks down as a result of chemical reactions.

Acid Precipitation

Rain, sleet, or snow, that contains a high concentration of acids.

Differential Weathering

The process by which softer, less weather resistant rocks wear away and leave harder, more weather resistant rocks behind.

Oxidation

A chemical change in which a substance combines with oxygen, as when iron oxidizes, forming rust.

Soil

A loose mixture of rock fragment, organic material, water, and air that cam support the growth of vegetation.

Bedrock

A rock formation that is the source of soil.

Parent Rock

The layer of rock beneath soil.

Soil Texture

The soil quality that is based on the proportions of soil particles.

Soil Structure

The arrangement of soil particles.

Humus

The dark, organic material formed in soil from the decayed remains of animals and plants.

Leaching

The removal of substances that can be dissolved from rock, ore, or layers of soil due to the passing of water.

Erosion

The process by which wind, water, ice, or gravity transport soil and sediment from one location to another.

Soil Conservation

A method to maintain the fertility of the soil by protecting the soil from erosion and nutrient loss.

Water Cycle

The continuous movement of water from the ocean to the atmosphere to the land and back to the ocean.

Tributary

A stream that flows into a lake or into a larger stream.

Watershed

The area of land that is drained by a water system.

Divide

The boundary between drainage areas that have streams that flow in opposite directions.

Channel

The path that a stream follows.

Load

The materials carried by the stream.

Deposition

The process by which material is laid down.

Delta

A fan-shaped mass of material deposited at the mouth of the stream.

Alluvial Fan

A fan-shaped mass of material deposited by a stream when the slope of the land decreases sharply.

Floodplain

An area along a river that forms from sediments deposited when the river overflows its banks.

Water Table

The upper surface of underground water; the upper boundary of the zone of saturation.

Aquifer

A body of rock or sediment that store groundwater and allows the flow of groundwater.

Porosity

The percentage of the total volume of a rock or sediment that consists of open spaces.

Permeability

The ability of a rock or sediment to let fluids pass through its open spaces, or pores.

Recharge Zone

An area in which water travels downward to become part of the aquifer.

Artesian Spring

A spring whose water flows from a crack in the cap rock over the aquifer.

Point-Source Pollution

Pollution that comes from a specific site.

Nonpoint-Source Pollution

Pollution that comes from many sources rather than from a single, specific site.

Sewage Treatment Plant

A facility that cleans the waste materials found in water that comes from sewers or drains.

Septic Tank

A tank that separates solid waste from liquids and that has bacteria that break down the solid waste.

Shoreline

The boundary between land and a body of water.

Beach

An area of the shoreline made up of material deposited by waves.

Saltation

The movement of sand or other sediments by short jumps and bounces that is caused by wind or water.

Deflation

A form of wind erosion in which fine, dry soil particles are blown away.

Abrasion

The grinding and wearing away of rock surfaces through the mechanical action of other rock or sand particles.

Glacier

A large mass of moving ice.

Glacial Drift

The rock material carried and deposited by glaciers.

Till

Unsorted rock material that is deposited directly by a melting glacier.

Stratified Drift

A glacial deposit that has been sorted and layered by the action of streams or meltwater.

Mass Movement

A movement of a section of land down a slope.

Rock Fall

A group of loose rocks that fall down a steep slope.

Landslide

The sudden movement of rock and soil down a slope.

Mudflow

The flow of a mass of mud or rock and soil mixed with a large amount of water.

Creep

The slow downhill movement of weathered rock material.

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